Viper MOTD: Overclocking is our business, and business could be a little better...

Aerocool X-Factor
Volcano 11+ Xaser
Deep Impact HSF
Chaintech Reloaded
Antec TrueCtrl 550
LCD to LPT Port Mod
TwinMOS Dual 3200
Bandwidth Capping
Antec Lanboy Case

Antec True Control 550W PSU: With all the attention on CPUs, motherboards, video cards and even mice, it's easy to sometimes forget that the power supply is probably one of the most important items to consider when preparing for a system overhaul.
Date: May 19, 2003
Catagory: Miscellaneous
Written By:

It's not uncommon for enthusiasts to have more than one hard drive, and multiple optical drives in addition to their overclocked CPUs and video cards. 350W PSUs are the bare minimum I would even consider these days, with 400W+ being more the recommended. There isn't such a thing as too much power though, and power users pushing their PCs even harder, I suspect 500-550W PSUs are going to be the norm by 2004.

Power, and more of it, doesn't always tell the whole story though. Quality is something that a lot of people surprisingly don't pay attention to. Yes, sometimes a generic 400W PSU will get the job done, but this is something that doesn't happen most of the time. When you're running an overclocked system, with plenty of hardware, you're going to want a PSU that you can count on under load.

The we'll be looking at today provides the brand name, as well as the requisite amount of power. There are a couple of hardware features as well, but they don't mean nothing if the PSU doesn't end up being reliable. The TrueControl is part of the TruePower family, which does hold a reputation of being a very reliable, and solid PSU.


- TrueControl control panel installs in 5.25" drive bay and still supports a 3.5" drive. Adjust voltage outputs and minimum fan speed from the front of your case.
- User-adjustable, individual dedicated circuits for main +3.3V, +5V, and +12V outputs.
- Dedicated output circuitry for each voltage output, overcomes the limitations of combined output of traditional design. Get all the power you need when you need it most.
- Voltage Feedback to maintain accurate voltage to all components: adds stability to your system
- Antec Low Noise Technology achieves the optimum balance between noise reduction and necessary cooling.
- ATX12V for AMD and Intel based systems including P4.
- Two double ball bearing fans.
- Gold plated connectors.

The TrueControl is pretty much your standard PSU in terms of presentation. There are some nice touches here and there, which we'll get into later, but essentially it's a steel box containing transistors and capacitors that can kill you if you choose to touch them while it's plugged in. You've been warned.

There are two fans built into the PSU, and this design has its pros and cons. On the plus side, two fans are better than one (or none at all), and if you're able to load up 550W of usage, you better make sure the PSU is cooled down. Compared to three fan PSUs, it should be less noisy since there's one fewer fan. On the downside, the cooling won't be as good as a three fan setup, fan speeds being equal, but since most PSU fans are relatively slow spinning, the loss in performance shouldn't be a factor.

Cabling on the TrueControl is of decent length, and it should be long enough to work with full tower cases. The primary ATX power cable has a nice sleeve covering the wires. This will prevent the wires from getting accidentally caught in a fan, but one thing for sure… it looks a lot nicer with the sleeve.

The power connections number nine in total (outside of the motherboard connections), which is broken down into 7 HDD molex connections, and 2 FDD connections. A nice touch here is the use of black connection, which does nothing for performance, but at least it's different from what we're normally used to.

One of the selling points of the molex connections is that they are gold plated. This should result in a cleaner signal, much like gold plated audio connections.

The is also a molex connection on the PSU itself. Those of you who have setup external radiators and heatpipes will appreciate this connection as it'll make setting up external fans a little easier. I have a reservoir project in the works, and I for one plan to make use of this. Good call by Antec here.

We've gone over the basics of the Antec TrueControl, which is all fine and dandy, but now let's take a closer look at the features that make the PSU stand out.

Next Page - Performance & Final Words

Shop for the Antec True Control 550W PSU.

Copyright © 2001-2002 Viper Lair. All Rights Reserved. Site Design by